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Occupation and Institutions

Monday Night -- 04.16.12 -- Occupation and Institutions -- An open
discussion with members of Occupy Museums

1. Short Introduction
2. Text from Occupy Museums (About Monday Night)

1. Short Introduction

What: Open Meeting and Discussion
When: Monday April 16th, 7PM
Where: 16 Beaver St. 4 floor
Who: Free and open to all

This event is organized with individuals involved with Occupy Museums,
some of which have also been contributors to the space. Over the course of
the occupations over the last years starting in 2009, different questions
emerged, each with their specific contexts, but containing generalized

This discussion also emerges out of a specific need from one of the
working groups of Occupy Wall Street to have an open forum and space to
consider with others their participation an international art event. For
this, their written introduction to the event begins with the question:

Is effective political protest possible inside arts institutions?

Of course, the word protest could be replaced by struggle, speech, direct
action, or simply action. But the question remains attached to what, if
anything, could or should be done at this moment within existing art
institutions, especially when so many artists and those working within the
spheres of culture have been experimenting with extending or abandoning
their practices into the streets. And more importantly, when those
existing art institutions become ever more illegitimate in their
increasing dependance to corporate sponsorship.

Below, the invitation text from Occupy Museums.

2. Text from Occupy Museums (About Monday Night)

In Fall of 2011, Occupy Museums and several occupy groups from Europe were
invited by the curators of the 7th Berlin Biennale (BB7) to use the
KunstWerke hall in the city center for the Occupy movement. Those who
chose to take part, decided to create an open and participatory
international exchange forum for the movement. Since then, hundreds of
activists from Germany, Spain, Holland, United States and Egypt, among
many others, have been working together to plan for the BB7 and have
issued an open call for all occupiers to participate. The hope is to reach
a new public who are curious to learn more about our movement, and open up
new ideas and possibilities for working together for change on a global

Occupy Museums will be one of the groups attending BB7. We see this as a
risky experiment between activists, governments, and cultural institutions
which offer exposure and connectivity. The risk is co-optation of our
movement’s grassroots power, the potential reward is international
collective actions and solidarity. In preparation for BB7, we feel that
input from the wider movement is essential. We want to collaborate,
combine the collective knowledge of Occupy Wall Street and local artists,
to create a platform for both meaningful critique and participation.

Please join us for an open forum to explore some of the following questions:
Is effective political protest possible inside the arts institution?
How does co-optation work, and can its dynamics be flipped in our favor?
Is political art neither political nor art?
What are the pros and cons of international mobility within the arts?
Is Occupy Museums, or other arts groups, co-opting Occupy Wall Street?
Who are our role models, those who have engaged in effective institutional
change? What are the historical precedents can we look to as we approach
this event?
What are some of the ways other Occupy groups are effectively working with

We hope you will join us.
Contact or questions: occupymuseums [at]

Open Call From Berlin Biennale
Invitation to visitors - Join us! – Even before the Biennale starts!
We call on all people who are outraged by current social global
conditions, struggling, hoping for change, to take part in our actions and
meetings. Let's organize ourselves and shape our own future, decide about
our destiny.
Help our logistics team with physical support and donations of materials.
Submit ideas for actions, presentations or workshops.

Contact: Join the Berlin Biennale mailing list by writing an email to

Groupware is being used for sharing of info, dates, news and tasks
regarding the organisation of the BB7. You can add yourself as a user

The Living Theater:
The Living Theater will also be participating in the BB7 and they have
offered to assist OWS groups to develop videos for Berlin. From May to
June the Living Theater in NYC will provide theater space for the creation
of videos that document OWS performances, process and who we are. The
goal is to have these videos be part of BB7 and projected in the Occupied
ghetto of the KunstWerke.

16 Beaver Group
16 Beaver Street, 4th fl.
New York, NY 10004

for directions/subscriptions/info visit:

4,5 -- Bowling Green
2,3 -- Wall Street
J,Z -- Broad Street
R -- Whitehall
1 -- South Ferry